Get Kids Reading with 7 Easy and Fun Ideas
If your New Year’s resolution is to get your kids reading more (mine is for myself too!), then I’ve assembled some free, easy and fun out-of-the-box ideas to get kids reading whether they are new to independent reading or reluctant readers.
I also like that these ideas are hands on and unexpected. A full body experience. It’s meant to make kids sit up and take notice. And then hopefully, this giddy feeling will become associated with reading and reading will be associated with a pleasant experience. How about you? Please share your ideas of how you get your kids reading! Thank you!
1) Hold a BOOK TASTING in the library! Book speed dating for the younger set.
I found this idea on Pinterest from the Barrow Media Center. Get a group of kids together and hold a “book tasting.” Select a books to be sampled and provide a menu sheet and pens or pencils. Each kid reads each book for 2-3 minutes and marks the menu sheet of each book with happy face, prozac face, or frowny face. It’s a fun way to have kids try out new genres of books.
Another idea to figure out what books to supply is to ask each child for 2 or 3 of their favorite books and draw from those. Then, at the end of the book tasting, kids who chose a book that was recommended by a friend can get encouragement to read their book choice. I always find that peer-to-peer recommendations are the most persuasive!
2) Watch BOOK TRAILERS for kids.
You know how movie trailers make you really, really want to watch a movie? Well, book trailers do the same thing for kids’ books! Book Trailers for Readers has lots of books trailers that you can view at their site and many are made by librarians. Some are even made by kids. Book trailers will draw kids into the plot of the book and they might even inspire you to make your own. Which brings us to #3…
Book trailer for Wonder by R. J. Palacio was professionally done. Those are great too!
3) Make a MOVIE or a MOVIE TRAILER of a book with friends.
You can choose any book and just use a video camera ad hoc. If your group of kids want to enter a video book film festival, there is the 90-Second Newbery Video competition. The deadline is February 1, 2013 for Portland and Tacoma screenings. Here is a handy PDF of tips, tricks and strategies to make your book trailer.
4) Go to children’s book AUTHOR EVENTS.
We find local KidLit author events by checking online at local bookstores and libraries. The good news is that they are FREE! If you don’t have local bookstores that do author visits, try Skype author visits. Here’s a list of virtual author visits. Kate Messner has another list of children’s and Young Adult authors who Skype for free here. Personally, I’d recommend setting up a free Skype author visit as part of a Kids Book Club event or a special play date to get a small group for the author.
PickyKidPix and I will be attending this kids’ book author event to celebrate my birthday! (I am nerdy that way.)
5) Set up a BOOK CLUB FOR KIDS.
I have lots of ideas for book clubs for kids here. Additional book club meetings are written up an individual posts here. I highly recommend setting up a book club for kids to get them motivated to read. It really worked for my kids. Not only do they new book introductions, but hearing their friends talk about the book makes them want to read the book (or finish it if they tired of it.)
6) Make a READING NOOK.
I’ve been collecting reading nook spaces for kids both on my Caught in the Act of … READING! post series and on Pinterest Reading Spaces for Kids board. These cozy nooks don’t require a carpenter or a large investment! Here’s just a few…
7) Borrow an eREADER. You can check out eBooks from the library.
Findings reveal the potential for ebooks to motivate boys, who are more commonly known to be reluctant readers, to read more. According to a Scholastic Study, one in four boys who has read an ebook says he is now reading more books for fun. More than half (57%) of moderately frequent readers who have not read an ebook agree they would read more if they had greater access to ebooks.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.